Well, it looks like Kenya and Phaedra will have to find something new to fight about when RHOA returns for Season 7. Phaedra’s husband, Apollo Nida, won’t be around to cause any more drama among the Atlanta Housewives. Today, Apollo was sentenced to 8 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges including mail, wire, and bank fraud. As part of the sentencing, Apollo was also ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to the victims of his fraudulent scheme. The court expects him to surrender himself into custody within 4-6 weeks.
It sounds like fans will get a front row view of today’s drama when The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 7 premieres in 2015. Reportedly, filming for the new season kicked off today outside the Georgia courtroom where Apollo was sentenced. Cameras were not allowed inside but were rolling leading into and out of the hearing.
If you haven’t been keeping track of this story, Apollo’s troubles first came to light in January when he was charged with bank fraud and identity theft. Prosecutors say Nida and co-conspirators since 2009 had stolen checks and used victims’ stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns and fraudulent claims against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Authorities say the group laundered money by opening bank accounts in its victims’ names. Basically, Apollo created fake companies which enabled him to access databases to find individuals to rip off. He then opened fake bank accounts under those real names and funneled stolen U.S. Treasury checks and auto loan proceeds into those accounts. He also allegedly opened a fake auto dealership and applied for auto loans in the names of stolen identities.
Having admitted guilt to the above charges, it likely came as no surprise to Apollo or his family that he is headed back to prison. (Apollo previously served five years in a federal prison for auto title fraud before his marriage to Phaedra in 2009). “On behalf of my client Apollo, right now he feels remorse. He thought the judge was fair, and accepts his sentence, although he was hoping it would be less,” Nida’s lawyer Thomas D. Bever told PEOPLE.
The saddest part of this story is that Apollo won’t be around for his two young sons with Phaedra, Ayden and Dylan. According to a source quoted by Hollywood Life, “Phaedra saw this coming and she and Apollo have known for a long time now that he’d be sentenced. It’s not a surprise to her. The only thing she’s worried about is Ayden and Dylan growing up without their dad.”
And, while 8 years is certainly a long time, apparently it could have been worse — the maximum sentence for Apollo’s offense is 30 years.
We’re wishing Phaedra and her family all the best in this difficult time.
What do you think about Apollo’s sentence?